Image Credit: Atikah Akhtar
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Yesterday BOP attended the first speech given by new Shadow Culture Secretary Maria Eagle since taking on her new role four weeks ago.
Attention was focused on the renewal of the BBC’s Royal Charter and Agreement, the impact of the EU referendum, and the importance of arts education.
Ms Eagle emphasised the contribution the BBC makes to the creative industries as a whole, as a commissioner of independently produced content and a supporter of the music industry. Its role as an exporter both of successful productions and of democratic values was also praised, as well as its continued appeal domestically with 97% of UK adults still tuning in for 18 hours a week. Ms Eagle set out that the BBC was being attacked for ideological reasons, and that considering its performance and what it delivered, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. Channel 4 was also praised for having a “quirky model that works”, the success of which would be threatened by privatisation.
The EU referendum was described as making “ferrets fighting in a sack look like calm orderly behaviour”, with the prospect of Brexit bringing uncertainty the creative sector could do without. Additionally, in a landscape of diminishing domestic public sector funding, Ms Eagle argued that prospective alternative sources of support like the EU Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility, European Social Fund, European Regional Development Fund would leave with Brexit.
Ms Eagle concluded by stating she wanted to keep public sector broadcasters, and the investment they bring into small creative businesses. She is a supporter of turning STEM into STEAM, emphasising that arts education is not the “icing on the cake” but essential in an economy with high levels of growth in the creative industries. She also pressed the importance of completing the EU Digital Single Market, to facilitate continued sector growth.
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By BOP Consulting
Callum leads the BOP team, its portfolio and strategic partnerships. His cultural and creative industries expertise is founded on leading analytical research and policy formulation in the UK and internationally.
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